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May 24, 2006

VES 2006 Fact Sheet

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Festival Of Visual Effects 2006 – Now in its 8th year, the Visual Effects Society once more presents a three-day extravaganza for the VFX community and its next generation. Summer blockbusters such as “Superman Returns,” “Cars,” and television fan favorite “Smallville” will all be the subjects of presentations. The Festival will also include speakers, workshops and panel discussions to showcase cutting-edge technological advances, historical achievements, strategic planning and forecasting for the future of visual effects in film, television, and animation. New elements added this year include a showcase of international, experimental, animated and student film works and the “Festival Courtyard” featuring VFX and entertainment industry vendors, special displays, raffles and the Hospitality Tent (see attached Program Descriptions for more details).

VES Festival 2006


The Egyptian Theatre, featuring The Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre (616 seats) and the Steven Spielberg Theatre (78 seats) is located between Las Palmas and McCadden, just east of Highland Avenue in Hollywood.


Thursday, July 6th – Saturday, July 8th (See Program Descriptions attached for times.)


Academy Award winners Dennis Muren, John Myhre, Robert Skotak, and Mark Stetson and 50+ internationally acclaimed entertainment veterans will enlighten the estimated 3,000+ attendees, comprised of working VFX professionals (60%), VFX/film students (30%) and program fans (10%).


Purchase sponsorships ($2,500 and up) and program book ads ($1,000 and up) by calling 310-822-9181 (See Sponsorship & Ad Opportunities for more details.)

Purchase passes and tickets at www.visualeffectssociety.com as follows:

$200 – Master Festival Pass including the bonus shows ($295+ value)

$150 – VES Member Master Festival Pass

$100 – Student Master Festival Pass including the bonus shows (requires school ID)

$20 – Individual Program Tickets (After Wednesday, June 7th)

For more information, visit www.visualeffectssociety.com or call 310-822-9181.


All programs, descriptions and speakers are tentative and subject to change without notice. Visit www.visualeffectssociety.com for the latest Festival and VES news.

Egyptian Theatre Courtyard Activities

Festival Courtyard - All three days

The Egyptian Theatre Courtyard will be transformed into the “Festival Courtyard” featuring VFX and entertainment industry vendors, special displays, raffles and the Hospitality Tent.

Steven Spielberg Theatre Activities

A Showcase of International, Experimental, Animated and Student Film Works - All three days, schedule TBA

The Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre Activities


Virtual vs. Real Sets: Combining Production Design with Visual Effects / 12:00 – 1:30 pm

Some branches of visual effects are direct offshoots from the Art Department. From the earliest Norman Dawn matte paintings and the first movie miniatures, effects artists realized those visions of the Production Designer that were too difficult to shoot on location (if they existed at all), or were too large in scale, or too expensive or impractical to build. Our panel of distinguished production designers will discuss and demonstrate the evolving, overlapping (and occasionally conflicting) relationship between designers and effects artists in their own films and in movies generally. Panelists: Jim Bissel, Jack DeGovia, Rick Heinrichs, Alex McDowell, Alan Munro, John Myhre, and Jeanine Oppewall – all Production Designers.

VFX Without Borders: A Look Around the World at International Effects / 2:30 – 4:00 pm

Visual effects are an international art form. All around the world artists are not only harnessing the power of state-of-the-art digital technologies but embracing the time-honored techniques of miniatures, puppetry and painting while creating dynamic effects for their local markets -- be it film, broadcast, music videos, commercials or games. As The Visual Effects Society exists to serve and celebrate the global scope of visual effects, the festival will feature a panel of international practitioners who will discuss the challenges, unique perspectives and techniques that individual markets engender. Samples of their work and from other international artists and effects facilities will be screened with an emphasis on local market production.

Looking Ahead at the Future of Visual Effects Tools / 5:00 – 6:30 pm

What’s on your technology radar? From hardware to software, this panel will dive into expected (and maybe not so expected) changes in visual effects tools over the next five years. Hear from some of the leading technologists on issues like pipeline management of multi-vendor data, environmental tools and changes in end format. This program is a must for the VFX professional who wants to stay ahead of the curve.


Invisible Effects: “The Da Vinci Code” & “Casanova” / 12:00 – 1:30 pm

How does a filmmaker capture a location that is inaccessible or one that hasn't existed for hundreds, even thousands of years? Invisible effects in films have been around for as long as filmmakers' have had imagination. And now with digital technologies, it's often hard for even seasoned veterans to decipher what is real and what is not. This panel will take an in-depth look at two recent films that have recreated eras and locales not accessible to their filmmakers. Many of “The Da Vinci Code's” historical and contemporary locales were innovatively re-created by 'invisible' wizards from the United Kingdom and 'Casanova's' romantic time period set in Venice created its own series of challenges for its artists. Join us in going 'behind-the-scenes' of the latest in state-of-the-art seamless effects.

The Challenges of Creating “X-Men The Last Stand” / 2:30 - 4:00 pm

The VFX team on the latest X-Men franchise discusses the challenges of working on a tight schedule and with various VFX houses on three different continents. Panelists: John Bruno, VFX Supervisor; John “DJ” Des Jardin, VFX Supervisor; Ian Hunter, VFX Supervisor, New Deal Studios; and Kurt William, VFX producer

“Poseidon” – A World Turned Upside Down / 5:00 – 6:30 pm

More than thirty years after it was fashionable to be seen in a disaster film, Warner Bros. returns this summer to a world turned upside down with Wolfgang Peterson's “Poseidon”. Following the tradition of casting a who's who of actors in the film, Visual Effects Supervisor Boyd Shermis turned to multiple sources on two continents (including ILM, Moving Picture Company, CIS, and Giant Killer Robots) to produce over 500 shots. Bring your snorkel and swim fins as we go off the deep end with the summer's biggest disaster film.

A Look Back at “Aliens” – 20 Years Later / 7 :30 - 9:00 pm

"Is this gonna’ be a stand up fight or a bug hunt?" In recognition of the 20th anniversary of the release of the science fiction action classic “Aliens,” this retrospective panel will look back at the ground breaking visual effects and animatronic creations for the James Cameron sequel to Ridley Scott's “Alien.” The unique look and style of the film's creations are even more astonishing when you consider the limited budget and resources the artists were given. Undaunted, Cameron's team created some of the most startling imagery seen in a genre film in the last 20 years. The visual effects team, headed by Robert and Dennis Skotak and creature supervisor Stan Winston received an Academy Award for their work on the film in 1987. Panelists: Alec Gillis, Creature Fabricator, Stan Winston Studio; Shane Mahan, Shop Foreman, Stan Winston Studio; Pat McClung, VFX Miniature Supervisor; Dennis Skotak, VFX Co-Supervisor and DP; and Robert Skotak, VFX Supervisor


Creating Life One Frame at a Time: The Art of VFX Animation / 10:00 -11:30 am

Digital techniques have overtaken the roles once played by cell and stop motion animation as visual effects tools, though they continue to flourish as filmmaking techniques. To a lesser degree, animated digital models have supplanted traditional miniatures. An all-star panel of prominent animators and effects supervisors with decades of experience on both sides of the digital revolution will talk about their own work then and now, and the sometimes unexpected consequences. A special demonstration will complement the discussion. Panelists: Steve Chiodo, Randy Cook, and Dennis Muren, Senior Visual Effects Supervisor, ILM

Life in the Fast Lane: The Animated World of “Cars” / 12:30 - 2:00 pm

After taking moviegoers magically into the realm of toys, bugs, monsters, fish and superheros, the masterful storytellers and technical wizards at Pixar Animation Studios and director John Lasseter hit the road with a fast-paced comedy adventure set inside the world of cars. Come hear how the team blended together plenty of humor, action, heartfelt drama, and amazing new technical feats.

Creating Super Effects on a TV Budget: It’s a Big Job at “Smallville” / 3:00 - 4:30 pm

With over 100 episodes aired over 5 seasons, the Warner Bros. television series “Smallville” has achieved a remarkably mature status for an episodic drama based on the teenage adventures of Clark Kent, before he assumes the alter ego of Superman. During the past four seasons, Entity FX created the visual effects that in a large part drive the show. Join the producers of “Smallville” and the staff of Entity as they explain and demonstrate what makes visual effects production of a weekly network series a unique challenge The panel will focus on how the Entity team spurred a creative evolution by developing a strategy to achieve economic production and how that strategy helped to overcome the artistic, budgetary and time limitations common to television production. Panelists: Mat Beck, Kymber Lim, Ken Horton, John Wash – all from Entity FX

Bringing a Super Hero Back to Life: “Superman Returns” / 5:30- 7:00 pm

Academy Award Winning VFX Supervisor Mark Stetson and his VFX team will discuss how they used modern techniques to bring this cultural icon back to life. With multiple VFX vendors and budgetary concerns the challenges included not only how to make a man fly again but how to create a movie that will soar above this year’s summer blockbuster competition. Panelist: Mark Stetson, VFX Supervisor

Special Advance Screening of “Monster House”/ 8:00 pm – For Pass and Invitation Holders Only

The team behind “The Polar Express” have created another hybrid animated thrill-ride utilizing performance capture techniques about three kids who battle a mysterious house. Directed by Gil Kenan, the film is produced by Zemeckis's ImageMovers and Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment with animation by Sony Pictures Imageworks. The voice cast includes Steve Buscemi, Nick Cannon, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kevin James, Jason Lee, Catherine O'Hara, Kathleen Turner, and Fred Willard.


Posted by dschnee at May 24, 2006 5:59 PM